Why do we find Kindness so challenging when it is so easy. Are we so wrapped up in our own bubble or world that we forget that we are all connected and leadership is about others? It takes courage to be kind and kindness is not a weakness; it is a super power. It’s a super power in business, teams, children, life, leadership and so forth – especially for yourself.
A few weeks ago I was travelling to Melbourne to deliver a leadership keynote and program and I was racing through security. I get it. Travelling can be hectic – checking in, the lines, navigating luggage, delays, security…There I was taking my jacket off as well as putting my laptop and rather large handbag into trays and I looked at security and said – “how are you?”. He glared at me and said “sorry?”. I replied – “how are you and thank you so much for your help.” He said “thank YOU and do you know I have worked 6 days straight and not one person has acknowledged me?”. I was in literal shock. We can do better people!!!
I want you to try at least one of the below each act of kindness and every day and see the difference it makes at work (and anywhere and everywhere for the matter). In turn, I know you will see a difference in trust, engagement, motivation, connection and performance too – which I know is important in business and life.
- Inclusiveness. Workplaces can be ground for unkindness and being excluded but they are also places for life changing and acts of leadership where you take notice of people and help them feel included and welcomed. We need to embrace everyone as we are all different and unique. Being non-judgemental and inclusiveness is the keys to kindness.
- Praise. Notice the good in your workmates and colleagues and go the extra mile to acknowledge and praise them. Take joy in the happiness and achievements of others as you would like for yourself.
- Respect. Be kind and respectful to your co-workers and colleagues. Everyone matters and everyone’s time and feeling matter.
- Integrity. Lead by example always and live by your values. Show courage and kindness by dismissing gossip and small talk. See yourself above such unkindness and be courageous to pursue higher conversation, thoughts and ideas.
- Initiative. Take initiative by offering your help and support to others without being asked. Everyone benefits from receiving support yet few of us feel comfortable asking for it. Be attentive and you will spot many valuable opportunities to offer kindness. In turn, you will find others are more readily available to support you.
- Connection. We can all past each other and one another in the corridor or lift without saying hello or knowing each other. We enrich our own and each other’s lives when we can enough to greet each other and ask how are going. Also get off your device! I am not perfect at this however I am getting better every day and I am seeing a massive shift in my mindset and connections. In turn, acknowledging the efforts of others, offering genuine compliments (I do this all the time) and providing positive feedback are other ways to connect and show kindness. A more connected workplace is a happier workplace which is a higher performing workplace!
- Commitment. When we bring our passion and dedication to our work, we do kindness unto ourselves and others. Half-hearted work or an unmotivated attitude and effort will never change the world or our lives for the better. When you use your leadership, focus and kindness to make positive change you spread joy, no matter what you do. You will soon find and see more fulfilment, excitement and potential in your life and work.
We can even start very young with kindness creating foundations for the future through kindness books. There is a great children’s book ‘Kindness is my Superpower.’ This book is about empathy, kindness and compassion for children with perfect examples. Your child will have more understanding for others, accept diversity, thrive in a multicultural and inclusive environment, and show more empathy. Throughout the story, little superhero Lucas will learn what kindness means and understand what it is like to be kind, sensitive, caring, and generous.
In my recent published book First Comes Courage, I write about the power of kindness when it comes to Courage. When we are kind to ourselves, we are kinder to others. In turn, when we practice kindness we know we are only human and therefore when we or others make mistakes or fail, we embrace the failures and this gets us further to courage and kindness!
Bertrand Wong Co-founder @ careersocius.com believes in the motto, “Let Kindness Be Your Superpower.” To support this principle, Bertrand states that a small act of kindness has the power to uplift someone emotionally and in spirit as kindness knows no boundaries. It is a universal language understood by all, regardless of our race and religion, one where even the deaf can hear and the blind can see. Whether it’s through a caring touch, lending a helping hand or being a listening ear, I believe we all have this superpower called KINDNESS to lift the spirits of others around us, including ourselves.
In celebration of World Kindness Day (November 13th), Bertrand shares his thoughts on how we can develop and practice kindness for the well-being of others and ourselves.
- Start By Being Kind To Yourself
- If You Can Spare Five Minutes To Help Someone, Do It!
- Be Kind Without Expecting Anything in Return
- Make Kindness a Part of Your Identity
Bertrand concluded by saying that by making kindness your superpower, you will have the ability to bring a positive change to others and to inspire more people to follow suit in spreading kindness throughout their lives. The world needs more kindness heroes. We need more heroes like you. In addition, Just Rock It re-enforces the way we can create changes.
As recommended by Adam Grant, one of my favourite New York Times’ best-selling author for the book “Give and Take”, he introduced the concept of practicing ‘five-minute favours’ to help someone else, a simple practice of being in the mindset of carving out just five minutes of your day to do something that will benefit the lives of others in your network – without expecting anything in return. Grant has said that “the five-minute favour is his single favourite habit that I learned while writing the book.” And incorporating this small act of kindness into your routine will only cost you your time. Adam Grant suggests that we think of the five-minute favour like that of a microloan – it’s a way to help someone else at a minimal cost to you. Personally, I like to think that the return on this favour is exponential.
Juliet Simmons, Creative Consultant at Piece of Cake has heard kindness is a superpower as very often in the workplace throughout her career. I have, on the other hand, routinely witnessed cut-throat behaviours sanctioned or even encouraged by management. I’ve been told that the way to progress was to outstrip my colleagues, to compete against them, rather than to work with and support them in our daily lives. Juliet says that she’s seen that behaviour in the entrepreneurial community too – but, happily, I feel now that a powerful shift is taking place. I look around and see communities now emerging which are encouraging us to work positively side by side, to have each other’s back. I also hear more and more employers talking about wellbeing in the workplace and about being gentle with ourselves and with those around us.
There are many examples here and an opportunity to turn kindness not only into a habit, but a superpower. Also, here are some side effects of kindness:
· A healthy heart
· Better relationships
Decide what you can do today to turn kindness into your superpower!